Your stomach muscles after birth

Some of your stomach muscles (rectus abdominus) run from the bottom of your rib cage to your pubic bone. The muscles are connected by a band of connective tissue called the Linea alba. 

It is completely normal for this band and muscles to stretch during pregnancy and by the end of pregnancy you may notice a separation or gap between the muscles.

The amount of separation can vary from person to person and usually improves by the time your baby is 8-12 weeks old. 

You may have diastasis rectus abdominus, also known as divarication, if after 8-12 weeks you still have:

  • a sensation of a gap between your stomach muscles, which is larger than 2cm
  • a visible bulge
  • discomfort or pain.

If this is the case, you may need further support to get strong again and can be referred to Pelvic Health Physiotherapy by your healthcare professional.